Passenger Snaps Photo of Fuel Pouring Out of a Dreamliner's Wing

Image for article titled Passenger Snaps Photo of Fuel Pouring Out of a Dreamliner's Wing

If Boeing was looking to 2014 as a fresh start for their constantly malfunctioning Dreamliner, that particular dream is almost certainly crushed by now. In addition to one of the plane's batteries malfunctioning (again) just a few days ago, a Norweigan's Airlines flight was cancelled yesterday after a passenger noticed that fuel was pouring from a valve on the plane's wing.


Fortunately, the passenger, Ann Kristin Balto from Tromsø, noticed the highly disconcerting leak as the plane was taxiing to the runway—before it actually took off. After alerting the stewardess, the flight was immediately cancelled. Despite the fact that it was indeed a passenger who saw the leak and stopped the plane directly before takeoff, Norweigian spokesperson Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson told The Local that "the pilot would have been aware of the leak from his instruments." Uh-huh.

Of course, it's not necessarily Norweigan's fault. Particularly considering Boeing Dreamliner's short, precarious history. As Balto told The Local:

The passengers weren't angry at Norwegian, but felt more that Norwegian has unfortunately been put into a very difficult situation by buying these Dreamliner planes.

But that doesn't mean we know for certain it's Dreamliner's fault either! There's always the possibility some careless technician left the gas valve open. Either way, not great luck for the Dreamliner line. Just last year, the entire Dreamliner fleet was grounded for four months after a battery exploded in Boston. But if things keep going the way they have for Boeing, the next time might be a whole lot longer than just four months. [The Local]


Image credit: Kristin Balto



Quite possibly the plane was filled to capacity earlier in the day when it was cool out, then the ambient temperature rose and excess fuel left via an overflow valve.

Either that or (while fueled to capacity) it taxiied across unlevel ground, creating an overflow situation in one wing.

Hard to call this a malfunction or a fault of the plane, if this is indeed the's more like an error in fuel management, possibly by the pilots.